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5 Risk Factors for Vein Disorders

Varicose veins on a patient's ankle/foot. Risk factors for vein conditions.

Our veins are important because they transport blood from our body back to the heart. However, they sometimes fail to function properly, resulting in a range of vein disorders such as varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, and chronic venous insufficiency. These vein disorders can be painful, unsightly, and, in severe cases, even lead to complications like pulmonary embolism. Understanding the risk factors of vein disorders can help you undertake preventative measures. In this blog post, we will explore some of the risk factors for vein disorders and provide practical tips on how to prevent them.

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1. Genetics

Your family history plays an important role when it comes to vein disorders. If your parents or grandparents have had varicose veins or other vein issues, there's a higher likelihood of you developing them, too. Your genes can determine your vein wall structure and valve function, which, in turn, can make you more susceptible to vein disorders. As such, it's important to be aware of your family history and monitor any signs of vein disorders more closely.

2. Gender

Women are more susceptible to vein disorders than men. The reason for this is that hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menstrual cycles, and menopause affect the vein walls and valves that regulate blood flow in the legs, which consequently leads to varicose veins. Women can avert vein disorders by following preventative measures like putting their legs up, changing positions often, exercising, and avoiding prolonged sitting or standing.


Pregnancy causes many changes in a woman's body, including an increase in blood volume, hormonal changes, and weight gain. Together, these factors put pressure on the veins in the legs, making them work harder to transport blood back to the heart. As a result, pregnant women often experience varicose veins. However, varicose veins during pregnancy usually subside after delivery.

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3. Obesity

Carrying excess weight increases pressure on the veins and can damage the valves within them. This can lead to valve failure, which, in turn, can cause vein disorders such as varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, and deep vein thrombosis. Maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, and avoiding prolonged sitting or standing can help lower the risk of vein disorders.

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4. Age

As we age, our veins lose elasticity and become less efficient at transporting blood back to the heart. This can result in valve failure and the onset of vein disorders such as varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. Some of the other age-related risk factors for vein disorders include decreased valvular function and prolonged periods of sedentary activity. While we can't control our age, we can maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce the effects of aging on our veins. Regular exercise, healthy eating, and avoiding smoking are all ways to help our veins age gracefully.

5. Work Environment

If your job requires long periods of standing or sitting, you are more susceptible to vein disorders. When standing or sitting for prolonged periods, blood can pool in the legs, making it harder for veins to transport blood back to the heart. This can cause valves to fail, leading to varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, and deep vein thrombosis. Taking frequent breaks to move around, stretching, and wearing compression stockings can help reduce the risk of developing vein disorders.

It is essential to understand the risk factors for vein disorders to maintain your physical health and wellness. To reduce the likelihood of developing vein disorders, you can try preventative measures like regular exercise, a healthy diet, managing your weight, and avoiding sedentary periods.

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Vein Center of Excellence

If you are experiencing symptoms of vein disorders or have family members with a history of vein disorders, it is crucial to Colorado’s Vein Specialist. Founded in 2006, Albert Vein Institute has become Colorado’s “platinum standard” for vein care, receiving national recognition for ongoing excellence. Devoted exclusively to the care of venous issues, Albert Vein Institute has treated thousands of patients.

Schedule your consultation with our Colorado Springs & Lone Tree vein specialists. Contact us in Colorado Springs at (719) 888-3227 and in Lone Tree at (303) 857-5111.